Fulfilment of the entry requirements: a step forward the LL.M universe

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Fulfilment of the entry requirements: a step forward the LL.M universe

The first application to a foreign diploma –the LL.M- in another language, can be a stressful and complex task.

Indeed, the formalities and the requirements can vary and students are not necessarily familiar with the peculiarities of the university they apply to. However, the application process shall not be a source of concern as a good understanding and awareness of the requirements may greatly optimise the prospect of being admitted.


In essence, the admission to an LL.M is subordinated to the successful completion of two conditions: academic and language requirement.

The first step in the application process is the academic requirement. The fulfilment of this condition requires the candidate to obtain the adequate grades asked by the university. Each university sets its own academic standards for the admission in LL.M. Therefore, it is advisable for students to look for the information that can be easily found on the websites of the universities. For instance, the academic requirement for Queen Mary University of London is a law degree with at least upper second class honours (2.2) whereas the London School of Economics and Political Science requires a law degree with a first or upper second class honours (2.1). Illustratively, it respectively corresponds to a French Master 1 degree with an overall grade of 11/20 and 13/20.

            From a practical point of view, the application to an LL.M. usually occurs at the beginning or during the middle of the second term. As a matter of fact, it enables students to know which LL.M they are likely be accepted to. Effectively, at that period of the academic year, students will have their grades from the first term and can therefore have their original choice confirmed or readjust their plans.

            Finally, even if students have not completed the required diploma yet, they shall not refrain themselves from applying. Indeed, it is still possible to apply. If the application is successful, the candidate will receive a conditional offer. This offer may become an unconditional offer if the grades are obtained and is a sufficient level of English is evidenced.

    The successful pursuance of an LL.M implies theoretical questioning and the writing of a dissertation at the end of the year. Consequently, a good level of English is necessary when the native language is not English. Traditionally, two ways are accepted to fulfil this condition: a general and a derogatory.

            Universities accept several diplomas for the demonstration of the level of English. Amongst those diplomas, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (T.O.E.F.L.) and the International English Language Testing System (I.E.L.T.S.) are the most commonly used. Similarly to the academic requirement, every university sets the level of English that must be evidenced. By way of an example, the language requirement for Queen Mary University of London is 7.0 for the I.E.L.T.S. and 100 for the T.O.E.F.L. Internet based whereas the London School of Economics and Political Science requires either 7.5 for the I.E.L.T.S. or 109 for the T.O.E.F.L. Internet based (specific scores are also expected for each part of the test). These two diplomas are the most commonly used but are not the only one accepted; universities may accept, on a discretionary basis, other ones as proof of the level of English. Where a close score to the one required has been reached, a few universities might nevertheless be willing to offer a place provided the student joins some pre-sessional English language programme. Universities have a discretionary power to allow this.

            Lastly, English tests will not be required if a student has a previous diploma taught in English. Such diplomas are generally considered as evidencing the level of English. As a consequence, it this situation, the language requirement will be fulfilled; no further steps will be necessary.



 Par Maxime Discours

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